Module code: TRA3036

Module Overview

This module provides an overview of the main theoretical premises that underpin Translation Studies as an independent discipline. It offers students the opportunity to use theoretical concepts as aids of problem solving, describing/assessing translation and promoting translators’ self-image or of becoming aware of cultural and ideological issues linked to translation. This conceptual side of the module is complemented by application of the theory; thus, different text types are examined in practical exercises used throughout the module, ranging from the creative (museum and tourism texts, news items, international/localized websites, subtitled excerpts, novels) to the more factual (official documents, popular science texts, medical texts, instruction manuals, public information leaflets), also focusing on various units of translation (from specialized terms and interlinked sentences to ‘text acts’ and non-verbal components).

Module provider

School of Literature and Languages

Module Leader

ASIMAKOULAS Dimitris (Lit & Langs)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 6

Module cap (Maximum number of students): N/A

Overall student workload

Independent Learning Hours: 51

Seminar Hours: 22

Guided Learning: 66

Captured Content: 11

Module Availability

Semester 1

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module content

The module offers an overview of various strands in translation theory and formulates principles about translation as these have emerged in different locales, schools of thoughts and cultural environments. It also provides a comprehensive overview of important concepts such as equivalence, loyalty, ethics of practice and professional norms. Students are encouraged to approach various frameworks in a critical manner and assess the extent to which an awareness of theoretical approaches helps translators find appropriate solutions. The scope of the discussion gradually broadens to account for the ever-expanding contexts in which translation occurs: the personal circumstances of an individual translator, a specific language pair, the relevant ‘industry’ context or society more generally. Similarly, the range of issues examined ranges from linguistic problems in translation to ideological and ethical issues that are inextricably linked with the production, dissemination and reception of translation in an industry with global outreach and an impact on specialized and non-specialized audiences of text users.

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Coursework Written Assignment 1 (2000 words) 50
Coursework Written Assignment 2 (2000 words) 50

Alternative Assessment


Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate:

* knowledge and understanding of the use of translation models
* ability to analyse and interpret translated discourse
* ability to select and synthesise information in a principled, lucid and scholarly manner
* subject-specific knowledge of translation theory


Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:

* Written Assignment 1 (2000 words) (50%)
Takes the form of a translation with commentary, enabling students to explore and test subject specific knowledge and develop research skills and digital skills (when handling multimodal documents and/or long written texts)

* Written Assignment 2 (2000 words) (50%)
Takes the form of a translation with commentary in a specialised area (legal or scientific translation), enabling students to develop subject-specific knowledge in this field and to develop research skills


Formative assessment and feedback

* Formative assessment will focus on student participation and class discussions throughout the module.

* Students will be provided with detailed written feedback following coursework assignments.

* Verbal feedback will also occur in class, in exercise de-briefing after each class (on VLE) and byindividual appointments if required.

Module aims

  • This module aims to: Familiarise students with some of the principal approaches in Translation Studies, including its evolution as a discipline.
  • introduce students to key concepts and debates in translation
  • familiarise students with frameworks for analysis of informative/technical texts and of texts where creativity is a key feature
  • familiarise students with frameworks for analysis of informative/technical texts and of texts where creativity is a key feature
  • equip students with the skill to understand translation as a creative process and to (re)frame or recontextualise information in order to secure a similar/equivalent response in selected target texts
  • equip students with the skill of critically evaluating translation approaches and of applying given approaches to practical translation problems

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 On successful completion of this module, students will be able to: apply analytical frameworks to the analysis of existing translations or of texts that can be translated with a view to suggesting sustainable digital solutions C
002 Gain an understanding of the applicability of translation theory to problems in translation PT
003 Develop and apply a range of reflective practice techniques related to translation, both for their own translations and those of their peers T
004 Critically assess translation performance (their own, machine-produced, and produced by their peers) across a variety of genres KC
005 Synthesize and evaluate major trends and models of translation theory and apply KC

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to:

* enable students to develop critical translation analysis skillsby engaging with practical exercises, authentic translation examples and scenarios that focus on the process, product and social context of translation activity
* engage students who have different language specialisms and maximize their learning by drawing on their own language-specific experience and by confidently contributing to discussions in the multi-lingual group of the class with a view to questioning own assumptions and comparing solutions to translation problems
* equip students with the ability to communicate as experts, using metalanguage in the field of translation studies effectively
* quip students with the ability to conduct independent research, assess translation approaches to given tasks and provide (digitally informed) solutions which may extend beyond the strict remit of module tasks and may be useful in other modules (such as the dissertation module)


The learning and teaching methods include:

Two contact hours per week over Semester 1. Classes will include lectures, discussions of work prepared in advance, independent learning (reading, researching and preparing coursework tasks). During class, pproblems of translation will be discussed and students will be encouraged to participate actively, drawing on their knowledge of other cultures and languages in order to identify and illustrate phenomena and principles related to translation. They will be encouraged to demonstrate application of the theories covered in each class, to participate in group discussion, to present their solutions to the rest of the class and provide peer feedback so as to demonstrate knowledge acquired, team-working, professionalism, confidence and communication skills. Formative feedback will be provided to all groups during class and outside class (with de-briefing of exercises and further food for thought posted on the VLE).

Indicated Lecture Hours (which may also include seminars, tutorials, workshops and other contact time) are approximate and may include in-class tests where one or more of these are an assessment on the module. In-class tests are scheduled/organised separately to taught content and will be published on to student personal timetables, where they apply to taken modules, as soon as they are finalised by central administration. This will usually be after the initial publication of the teaching timetable for the relevant semester.

Reading list
Upon accessing the reading list, please search for the module using the module code: TRA3036

Other information

Surrey's Curriculum Framework is committed to developing graduates with strengths in Employability, Digital Capabilities, Global and Cultural Capabilities, Sustainability and Resourcefulness and Resilience. This module is designed to allow students to develop knowledge, skills and capabilities in the following areas:

The module both explores translation as a method of allowing messages to travel across languages and cultures and as well as offers a critical overview of the evolution of the field of translation studies as a discipline (global and cultural capabilities). Whilst non-language specific (i.e. can be taken by students who have been learning any foreign language and have basic or advanced translation skills), it is suitable for undergraduate students who want to pursue a career in translation or who generally have an active interest in precision-oriented communication in various cultural contexts (employability; global and cultural capabilities).

As such, it allows students to demonstrate awareness of and respect for different models of translation developed in different parts of the world and focusing in different fields of specialization (global and cultural capabilities); it helps them develop confidence in solving translation problems and learning from their own translation performance and experiences (resilience and resourcefulness); it introduces students to the grander narratives of ethical pitfalls in translation activity, including the sustainability of individual views and cultures (sustainability); it helps them develop as critical, creative thinkers and effective communicators who excel in applying evidence-based, varied solutions to translation problems and justifying those to others (sustainability; digital capabilities); it presents them with opportunities to demonstrate digitally informed solutions to translation problems concerning various units of translation, from the smaller (terms, individual words) to the more complex (specialized texts and multimodal documents) (sustainability).

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
English Literature and Spanish BA (Hons) 1 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
English Literature and French BA (Hons) 1 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Modern Languages (French and Spanish) BA (Hons) 1 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Modern Languages (French with German) BA (Hons) 1 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Modern Languages (Spanish with German) BA (Hons) 1 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module

Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2023/4 academic year.